Tag Archives: beer

LisVegas: The Six Coolest Things About Lisbon (Part II)

ORIGINAL SINTRA

The medieval town of Sintra is less than an hour from the heart of Lisbon by train, and is home to a really cool castle, so you’d have to be a complete Wally not to go out there. The town itself is situated in a lush valley, with the ancient monuments perched high up on the cliffs surrounding it. There are Thai tuk-tuks to take you to the top (but, sadly, no Thai ladyboys to take you to the brink of orgasmic bliss), or else it’s a pleasant walk up the hill. The trail winds along cobblestone streets and through centuries-old villages, all to the sounds of birds singing.

Castelo dos Mouros was built by the Moors (Dudley, Mandy, Roger and Billy) in the 10th century to defend the city against evil, bible-thumping Christians, but these days has been overrun by Chinese tourists. It costs eight Euros to visit, so I waited until the guard was looking the other way and snuck in. Shit, no wonder the bloody Christians conquered the place so easily!

IT’S HIP TO BE SQUARE

Portugal once suffered from the highest rate of drug abuse in Europe, so back in 2001 the government decriminalised Persian Rugs and saw a massive drop in the number of people wandering around with needles in their arms. You wouldn’t know it from walking around Lisbon’s many scenic town squares, though, because they’re absolutely crawling with crack-peddling cretins, deadshits and low-lifes.

It’s a shame, because the architecture surrounding the squares – Praça do Comércio being the most prominent – is stunning, with beautiful old buildings running up the surrounding hills and impressive statues gazing proudly over the city. It’s kinda hard to soak in the historic ambiance when some fuckwit in a fedora is trying to sell you a bag of cocaine. I’m always one to make the best of a bad situation, so I grabbed some magic mushrooms and a handful of Viagra tablets off a scummy-looking little bloke, and spent the night wanking myself off while watching episodes of Powerpuff Girls back at the hostel. Good times!

PUNK IN DRUBLIC

Grab a few dozen cheap cans of Super Bock from a shop, find a park without too many vagrants in it, quaff the booze, argue with a dog, pass out in the sun, shit yourself. It’s one of Lisbon’s greatest cultural experiences!

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LisVegas: The Six Coolest Things About Lisbon

1. I FORTE THE LAW

Lisbon doesn’t have a spectacular harbour like Sydney, Hong Kong or Woy Woy, but it is on the water, and has a few things to offer those who are after a stroll along the agua. The 25 de Abril bridge looks a bit like that one in San Francisco, but hopefully not as many people commit suicide by jumping off it. Maybe it’s because the bridge is next to Santuário de Cristo Rei, a statue of Jesus that looks just like the one in Rio. I like to think the big fella has a quiet word with anyone feeling blue enough to end it all.

A short powerwalk along the Tagus River reveals the enormous Padrão dos Descobrimentos, a 52-metre-high monument to Portugal’s history of exploration. It was finished in 1960 and boasts 33 statues of famous Portuguese explorers, all of whom have funny names. It costs five Euros to climb to the top, but I didn’t because I got distracted by a chick with big tits and forgot to.

The best thing to see along the waterfront is the 500-year-old Belém Tower, which was originally built defend the city before being converted into a place to imprison homosexuals. Once it became obvious that the homosexuals quite enjoyed being locked up in a dungeon with dozens of like-minded individuals, they were all drowned in the river and it was converted into a regular prison, with only a three percent drop in the amount of gay sex.

2. BOUND FOR GLORIA

Lisbon is really hilly and the Portuguese only have little legs, so they built a bunch of funicular railways to carry them home after loading up on bacalhau and vinho verde. The most famous of the three remaining funiculars is the Elevador da Glória, which was handily located just around the corner from my hostel (which was very handy for getting home after drinking my body weight in cheap supermarket beer).

Gloria was opened in 1885 and rolls a few hundred metres from Baixa up to Bairro Alto. It costs three Euros to head up or down, so it’s best to buy a transport day pass for six Euros and ride the bloody thing all day long. The best part is that when you get off at the top, you can dance around like you’re in the opening of Full House.

3. BLISTER IN THE SUNSET

There are few things more enjoyable than smashing ice-cold beers while watching a glorious sunset in an exotic city. Alright, maybe watching the Raiders beat Manly 50-0 in the grand final with an endless supply of free beer and meat pies at hand would top it, but you get the point. Lisbon is an ace place for watching the sun go down because it faces west over the ocean and has heaps of stunning lookouts.

Miradouro de Santa Catarina and Miradouro Santa Luzia are great spots, but the best I found was the snappily-titled Miradouro da Nossa Senhora do Monte. The name means ‘Our Lady of the Hill’, and it’s easily accessible by wandering through the Graca district’s labyrinthine alleyways until you either stumble upon it or die of starvation. Situated in the grounds of an ancient church, the view is tops, but the best thing is that there’s a bar serving nice big jugs of Sagres (and some overpriced food, so bring a bag of chips). By the time the sun finally disappears, you’ll be so smashed they’ll have to roll you back down the hill!

Floripa Madness!

There are certain places on this big fuck-off blue ball called Earth that I truly believe I was drawn to. Whether to meet someone who would touch my soul or to experience something that would change my life, I didn’t choose to visit these destinations – they chose me. Florianopolis, in the south of Brazil, is one of those very special places. I stumbled in for what I thought would be three nights and now I’m regretfully stumbling out 15 days later, feeling as though I’ve experienced a lifetime in a single fortnight. Yeah, Floripa is a pretty damn cool place.

It was by pure chance that I ended up visiting the island. As well as boasting some of the greatest surf breaks and paragliding sites on the planet, Florianopolis was also at the centre of a major international drug smuggling ring for many years. The story of drug runners and millionaire kingpins was told in Kathryn Bonella’s fantastic book Operation Playboy, which my old man read a few months ago. He told me to read it, I did, and the picture painted of Florianopolis meant that I had to include it on my trip through South America. And they say drugs aren’t good for anyone!

The actual city of Floripa is nice enough, straddling the coast of Santa Catarina and the edge of Ilha de Santa Catarina, but the true beauty comes from some of the further flung spots. There are 42 beaches on the island, and most of them are spectacular. I set up camp in the hills overlooking Barra da Lagoa, a fishing village lined with palm trees and golden sand. It’s a peaceful place that reminds me of Bali, with monkeys swinging from the trees, bamboo houses, open-air bars and restaurants, and a good vibe. As I walked down the beach for the first time, with emerald hills rising above me and the azure waves crashing at my feet, I already knew that three nights wouldn’t be enough.

People check out Drunk and Jobless for the naked photos of me humping statues and wild stories of alcohol-fuelled debauchery, so I’m not going to post an entry that reads like a teenager’s diary, but I was fortunate enough to meet someone wonderful on that mystical island off the coast of South America. Someone who showed me the beauty of Brazilian culture, taught me that beer belongs in the freezer even when it’s cold out, didn’t judge me for wearing skin-tight womens leggings in public, and introduced me to the magic of caipirinha and the kilo lunch. We spent enough time together that I now wear thongs inside and wash my underpants in the shower, like a true Brazilian. Floripa is a place anyone would enjoy, but one person made it truly incredible for me.

Right, the mushy stuff’s over, somoving on. Florianopolis is a magical island, and if you’re drawn there, don’t fight it. Go snorkelling, hike up mountains, drink cheap beer in great bars by the water, sit in the sun and smile, perve on stunning women wearing G-bangers, wear a G-banger yourself and not feel like you’re being judged for doing so, lie in a hammock and watch the world roll past, gorge yourself on pizza for three meals a day, enjoy strolling through the crime-free streets, visit the nudist beach, get caught in a Brazilian truckers strike and not be able to go anywhere because there’s no petrol, swim in crystal clear waters, kayak past the most incredible waterfront houses you’ll ever see, dance the samba with locals, end up with lots of useless change in your pocket, and watch the sun set over the water with a good bottle of cheap wine. Fifteen years wouldn’t be enough time there, let alone 15 days, so there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be back. Put the Brahma in the fridge!

Punta Arenas – Industrial wasteland at the end of the world

After the lush, green beauty of Chile’s Los Lagos district, flying into Patagonia was like soaring into another dimonsion. Over the course of the most remarkable plane trip of my life the trees, mountains and volcanoes gave way to gnarled shrubs, murky swamps and endless flatlands – an alien landscape that makes it hard to believe anyone lives this far south. When I landed and made my way into the only real city in the region, Punta Arenas, I had no more answers to why people would make this harsh place their home. I dunno, maybe they just really like penguins or something.

Punta Arenas (pronounced put-eet-in-her-arse) has some nice colonial buildings in the centre of town, but is mainly a rambling mess of sheet metal shacks and flat-roofed boxes, with little to set the heart racing. I guess the best way to describe it is functional – the city faces brutal weather, and the simple architecture reflects that. If you’re a connoisseur of crack dens, however, you’ll adore it.

The main reasons for heading to Punta Arenas are to use it as a stopover on the way to Antarctica or Puerto Natales, but it does have a few interesting things to see. There’s a brilliant recreation of the 27-metre-long Nao Victoria which is a few kilometres out of town, that’s like a wet dream come true for history and boat buffs. The original ship was part of the fleet that discovered Chile, and was the first to circumnavigate the globe, but has since been turned into a chicken hatchery or something. I didn’t actually get to visit it because it was in the opposite direction of the pub, but my dad reckons it’s tops. He also reckons I’m the funniest and coolest person he’s ever met, so I trust his judgement. Heres a photo of him in front of the ship with his pensioner travelling group, Geezers Overseas-ers.

Of more interest to heavy drinkers like me is the Austral brewery, which is located right in the middle of town. Austral is a delicious lager that’s been brewed right here in Patagonia for more than a century, and when I heard that they offer tours of the brewery I raced out there with visions of drinking thousands of litres of fresh booze. Sadly, the whole thing was locked up and looking abandoned when I got there, and when I begged for a beer through the fence a little bloke came out and shooed me off with a broom, so I grabbed a six pack from the shops and got pissed down by the beach.

Punta Arenas doesn’t offer stunning vistas or world-famous landmarks, but it does offer insight into the realities of living in such an extreme part of the planet. It’s a tough industrial town that feels like it’s an eternity from anywhere. It’ll never rival Venice, Prague or Wattanobbi for beauty, but it has an unpolished charm that offers a weird appeal. Nobody enters Punta Arenas without using it to go somewhere prettier (Sofía Vergara’s chubby best friend is in a similar position), but it has a bit of personality and makes for a decent arvo out. Next!

Santiago Shenanigans

The winds carried me and my bright orange paraglider across the oceans. Over Samoa, where the volcanoes are angry and the people are wonderful. Past Fiji, with its golden beaches and endless reefs. I even swung past Easter Island, which is full of heads bigger and uglier than your ex-girlfriend’s. When the breeze finally dropped me from its loving arms, I found myself in a strange city surrounded by imposing mountains and populated by the most beautiful women I’d ever seen. I asked a little bloke who was digging through a bin where I was, and he told me, “Senor, you is in San Diego!”

“No I’m fucking not,” I told him, looking around at the throngs of people who swept around us. “I’ve been to San Diego and the women have arse cracks you could park a Sid Fogg’s in. And I haven’t had a wannabe tough guy try to stab me with a rusty kitchen knife yet. Where am I really?”

“Not San Diego, fuckwit,” he spat, whilst juggling a soccer ball. “You is in chilly!”

“It’s not chilly, you goose, it’s about 24 degrees and sunny,” I chuckled, then swaggered off to check out my surroundings.

Turns out I was in a place called Santiago, Chile, which I would’v learnt earlier if the locals didn’t run me around in circles. I traded my paraglider in for a six-pack of Austral and started exploring, and ended up discovering one of the most unusual cities I’ve been to It can be beautifu one minute, with elegant European buildings, exotic parks and brightly-coloured houses, and hideous the next, with poverty and dirt smeared everywhere. In many ways it reminds me of South African cities, with two disparate worlds somehow existing together.

Santiago is known for its food, and I was bombarded with options as I walked around. The mouth-watering scent of sizzling beef and chicken wafts through the streets, and it seems like the locals are constantly shoving something in their gobs. The main options are empanadas, which are a relation of the glorious meat pie, and completos, which are fully-loaded hotdogs. My dad has often regaled me with stories of all the foot-longs he gobbled in South America, so I was relieved to discover he was actually talking about hotdogs, and not man-dogs. There are also plenty of pizza places and hamburger shops, so if you’re looking to chuck on some weight this is where you should be.

I saw a big hill with some sort of statue at the top, so I downed an icy cold can in one gulp and sauntered that way to see what was up. The path up to the top of Cerro San Cristóbal is poorly signposted and difficult to find (and possibly closed, since there was a big barrier in the way), but that didn’t stop meclimbing up there. The path is poorly maintained and eroded in many places, but the sweeping views back over Santiago make it more than worthwhile. Once I made it to the top, I realised there’s a cable carand some sort of train that canbe usedto scale it easily, but unless you’re a fat cunt or you once stepped on a landmine, I suggest making the 45 minute trek.

The main reason for scaling San Cristóbal is to check out the view, but that’s not all that’s up there. The statue, as it turns out, is of the Virgin Mary and stands 14 metres tall. Alright, she’s not as big as certain other hilltop religious statues I’ve encountered, but she’s still pretty impressive. There are also cafes (that don’t serve beer – trust me, I asked) and some little museums that I didn’t bother with. If you ever visit Santiago, you’ll end up at San Cristóbal at some point it would be like going to New York and not visiting the Statue of Liberty, or going to Wyong and not shitting on the floor of the public toilets.

I was pulling down my shorts so that I could takeone of my popular Drunk and Jobless World Tour Nude Selfies™ when a couple of horse police (police on horses, I mean. Not horses who have found emplyment in the police force) rocked up and politely suggested I fuckoff. I’m grabbed a cheap room in a hipster-filled part of the city known as Bellavista, which if full of bars and live music joints. Energetic Chilean rock bounces between the intricately-painted buildings and smoking hotsenoritas walk around in next to nothing, so it’s the place to be. The bars are great, with plenty of al fresco seating options, but the beers are a bit pricey – around six Aussie dollaridgeridoos each. The quality is top notch though, with Kross Golden proving a standout.

Needless to say, I got smashed on cheap supermarket beer in a nearby park and passed out halfway through eating a chicken and olive stuffed empenada. I’m stoked to be exploring my sixth continent (which means I’ve hit them all, except for the one that’s run by penguins) and have decided to hang around for the next nine or so weeks, so stick around for more mesmerising entries. Chile is already surprising and delighting me, and I can’t wait to see what else this bonkers country has to offer.

73 or 74 reasons to visit Russia

The mission to Moscow is over and I’m back in a country where I can walk down the street without being questioned by the cops or attacked by some vodka-guzzling nutter in an imitation Adidas tracksuit. Here are a whole bunch of reasons why you should visit this most unusual country (or, if you enjoy tropical beaches, blue skies and people who have a full compliment of teeth, reasons why you should stay away from Russia). Spasibo for reading, and if these rather dreary photos are getting you down, don’t worry! The Drunk and Jobless World Tour will continue on Australia’s Sunshine Coast – don’t forget your bikini!

Russia: A Place For Penguins

Moscow isn’t known for its beautiful climate, but I was still ill-prepered for the arctic conditions that Russia welcomed me with. I knew things were going to be bad when my plane descended through clouds as thick as a Mount Druitt schoolkid, and my fears were confirmed when I stepped out of the airport to be met by a day colder than a snowman’s arsehole. Fortunately my lady friend Lena was there to warm me up with a cuddle and then race my back to her place.

With the temperature outside struggling to climb past four degrees, Lena introduced me to the way Russians keep warm on cold days. Get your mind out of the gutter, you pervert, I mean that she served me a bowl of delicious borscht (soup) and then we started knocking back shots of vodka at 9:30am. I’ve gotta say that if I ever move to Russia, it won’t take me a long time to adapt to their way of life.

Despite smashing shots for 15 hours, I still managed to get up the next morning, squeeze into my singlet, and head out into the metropolis for a run. It was so fucking cold I’m surprised my dick didn’t get frostbite, and the Moscovians who I ran past – each dressed in woollen hats, ski jacket and gloves – stared at me as if I was afucking idiot. Honestly, a three-legged alien could’ve beamed down and start fucking a dog, and the locals would’ve looked at it with less surprise than they showed me.

After making it back to Lena’s place and warming up by, well, let’s just say eating soup so as to keep it PG for the kiddies, we headed out to Rainbow Park to hold hands and chase ducks. In a city packed with crumbling Soviet-era towers and crowded motorways, it’s a welcome oasis. Loyal readers of D&J would be aware that I’ve got a history of stripping off, but I though Lena’s already-dwindling level of respect for me would dwindle if she was to see me nude up in freezing conditions, so I kept my gear on the whole time. I guess this is growing up.

Russian parks are brilliant, and apart from the lovely landscaping and impressive selection of local and international plants and flowers, are packed with all sorts of excercise equipment. There was even a full-sized boxing ring – apparently the locals assemble there on saturdays to sort out their grievances. Husbands punch on with wives, employees throw fists at bosses, pensioners lay the smackdown on paperboys who keep chucking the Moscow Times in the bush rather than on the doorstep. If I prove to be annoying, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lena drags me back there on the weekend so she can kick me in the nuts in front of a bloodthirsty crowd.

BEER OF THE DAY – SOME STUFF I GOT IN A PLASTIC BOTTLE FROM THE CORNER SHOP

Like most places in Europe, Russia has a fantastic selection of beers at dirt cheap prices. While the cans and bottles of local and imported piss are great, there’s a better option. Most corner shops have beer taps, so it’s possible to purchase freshly-poured draught beer in 1.5 litre bottles. Drinking from a brown plastic bottle in a park makes you feel like a filthy wino, but the quaity of the brew ensures you won’t wake up the next morning feeling like a group of skinheads have been stomping on your face. Highly recommended!

Flic en Flac (yes, that’s the actual name of an actual place)

I’ve been to some oddly-named beaches over the years – Tasmania’s Eggs and Bacon Bay stands out – and I think I’ve found the weirdest of all time. It’s called Flick en Flack, it’s on the west coast of Mauritius, and it’s a pretty groovy place to hang out and smash a few beers. Just look at these photos, it’s awesome. Mainly, though, it’s fun to just say the name over and over again.

There’s one long beach that stretches for kilometres, plenty of palm trees, clear water, and golden sand that is mostly free of rubbish and dead birds. There are a few resorts along the water, which means there’s no shortage of plump Russians slowly turning crimson in the tropical sun. I can’t afford to stay in any of the resorts, so I’m looked down upon by the rich Europeans sipping their expensive cocktails, but I figure I won’t be the one having a heart attack in the next two months, so I win.

Yep, Flic en Flac is a top little town, and I reckon it’s a lot nicer than Grand Baie because the beach is better and it’s a bit quieter. I also prefer it because I saw three sets of boobies today. Mauritius is definitely a place where couples come to kiss each other, so a handsome single man like myself has to take what he can get. And what I’m getting right now is pissed on cheap cans of Phoenix while watching the sunset, so enjoy these photos… or just feel jealous of me. How’s the weather where you are at the moment?

Lion Strong beer is truly awful

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Beer isn’t easy to come across in Sri Lanka,so when I found a restaurant near my hotel that sells cans of God’s Golden Nectar (alright, the little fellas run down the street and buy it from some bloke and then race back with it, but it’s the same thing), I thought I was in heaven. To make things better, the beer in question, Lion Strong has an alcohol percentage of 8.8 – enough to kill a full-grown elephant.

I ordered five cans and carried them back to my room as carefully as if I were carrying the holy grail. I chucked some music on, took a seat on the balcony overlooking the ocean, and took a big swig of beer… Or, at least, I was expecting it to be beer, because what filled my mouth tasted like a mixture of unleaded petrol and runny dog shit.

Lion Strong can barely be called a beer. It tastes more like cheap, canned bourbon and coke due to the high alcohol content, and has a horrible, syrupy texture. It’s absolutely putrid. I was gagging like a midget in a blowbang as I tried to force the dirty water down my throat, and the locals probably thought I was dying, and planning to chuck me in that night’s curry.

While it’s a truly revolting drink, Lion Strong packs a massive punch, and after five cans I was fucking smashed and passed out under a palm tree, only to wake up with an old Sri Lankan woman stroking my hair and calling me a pretty baby. I think I’ll stay away from the Lion Strongs from now on.

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Sober in Sri Lanka

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After a few days scratching around the grimiest backstreets Sri Lanka has to offer, today I finally got to take a refreshing dip in the calm, blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. I’ve set up camp in Trincomalee, a seemingly endless stretch of golden sand fringed by swaying palms. There are certainly worse places to stuff around in for a few weeks, that’s for bloody sure.

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The beach is pretty grouse

I’m staying right on the beach, with nothing but the ocean to look out on. Trinco (as all the cool people say – and some cockheads, probably) isn’t heavily developed, with just a smattering of hotels along the water. Go back a street and it’s a typical Sri Lankan village – busy and dirty, with little dudes storming around for the sake of appearing busy and cows standing around shitting all over the place.

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“Hey cow, I ate your mother!”

It really is a very nice place to sit back, relax, and smash a bunch of beers… Or it would be, if Sri Lanka didn’t have a bunch of weird laws that ensure that having a few drinks is a difficult endeavour. After rocking up on the bus, I just wanted a beer, and set out into the streets to find a place willing to sell me one. In Negombo they had specific shops with huge ‘BEER’ signs out the front, and in Kandy alcohol was available at the supermarket, so I didn’t think it would be hard. I was wrong.

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Honestly, what is this thing? This is the sort of shit I see when I don’t drink

I swaggered into the first shop I found and asked for a beer, only to be met by confused looks, as if I’d asked if they had any chickens I could fuck. They finally told me of a place down the road that could help me out, so I trotted off down there. When I asked them, they gave me a confused look and then pointed me towards the first place.

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Look how DISGUSTED I am by the lack of beer

I know Sri Lanka’s a developing country, but they need to sort their alcohol situation out. A bloke should be able to walk up the road and get himself a bloody beer on a hot afternoon. I ended up walking a round trip of 8km, only to come back empty handed and sadly sober. I settled for a beer at my hotel, which set me back $3.50 for a small bottle – hardly the cheap drinking experience I expected from one of the world’s poorest countries.

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The view from the bar ain’t bad, though

That’s the story of Sri Lanka, really. While it’s a povvo country like Indonesia or Thailand, it doesn’t provide a typical ‘povvo country’ holiday experience, with cheap accommodation and food. While $25 can get a lovely, modern unit in Bali, $40 gets an absolute shithole of a room in Sri Lanka – mine has bare concrete walls, no air con, and a hole in the ground where the advertised pool was mean to be. Meals are expensive unless you’re willing to risk the street food (I have), with basic meals running north of $10 a pop.

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“Move over, I’m gonna dive in the cunt!”

Trinco is a great part of the world, and if the Lankans ever sort out their pricing problems it will become a major tourist destination (and get fucked up in the process). Despite its problems, it’s a laid-back and relaxing village that is a great place to spend a relaxing few days, weeks, or even months. Right now, I’m just going to sit back on the beach with an overpriced beer, watch the sun down, and have a crack at the big-titted Pommy sheila who keeps giving me the eye. It’s a life…